Learning from YES: A Communal Way to Shed a Light for Homeless Youth

Homeless has been a problem not only for developing countries, but also developed ones. In Indonesia, the problem of homeless is complex and complicated. Meanwhile, in the United States, there is approximately 2,000 people are homeless in Omaha, based on http://www.opendoormission.org.

However, people in Omaha have a great way to contribute minimizing the number of homeless youth, through both donation and other actions.

YSEALI UNO gives me opportunity to learn about how to tackle homeless issue through a non-profit organization called YES (Youth Emergency Services). They have four major programs to offer a safe place for youth in crises, which are: emergency shelter, street outreach program, maternity home, and transnational living program. YES also encourage youth to fulfill their potential through the job readiness program.
In the first week of the YSEALI program, participants visited and volunteered in YES emergency shelter in Omaha.

For me, it was a wonderful experience to directly observe a developed organization which creates big impact to society and gathers many stakeholders to contribute to the projects. People in the shelter are friendly and warm, making the homeless youth not hesitate to ask for help. Even, based on the YES officer, one of the youth came and asked whether she or he can come once a week for taking a bath or not, since it is very difficult for them to find save place to take shower.

To my perspective, YES shelter provides a complete facilitation for homeless youth. Currently, they have three computers that all connected to wifi, so that youth can search for job information and send their application online. Besides, they also provide clothing such as winter coats, scarf, and warm clothes. Therefore, the homeless people who need it can take some in order to keep their self warm. YES also provide foods and drink, also toiletries and diapers for baby, and give to the homeless people in certain times, so that they will not always rely on YES.
I believe that all of the great services and accommodation that YES has provided is a communal action from society. The government seed grants might be given. However, depending only on the grants is too risky, since it may stops someday. So that, to create a sustainable organization, YES has successfully engaged people in Omaha to take part on the action.


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